Don’t Just Stand There. Do Something!

Matthew 25:14-30 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. 16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 22 He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ 23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’ 26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. 29 ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’


We call this passage of Scripture the “Parable of the Talents”. In this teaching, Jesus is instructing His followers to be good stewards (managers) of the gifts, abilities, and resources provided to them by God and committed into their care. The issue is not how many gifts and blessings you have been given but how wisely and well you use them. In this teaching Jesus did not judge the man for doing some activity wrong… but He holds the man accountable for not doing anything at all. God doesn’t want us to waste our lives but to invest our lives. It is almost as if God is saying “Don’t just stand there, do something!”
1. The Foolishness of Doing Nothing


Matthew 25:24 Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed.


This is the excuse provided by the man for why he decides to do nothing productive with the talent given to him. The logical response, if he really believes the excuse he offered, should have been “I didn’t just stand there, I did something. I buckled down and got to work. These other fellas only doubled the talent you gave them, but I tripled what you gave me.” Therefore, this man’s response of doing nothing was foolish.


One day every Christian will stand before God and give an account of his or her life. The excuse and our lack of faithfulness will be just as foolish as this man in Matthew chapter 25. For the Christian, there is no longer condemnation but there will still be evaluation. The moment a person repents of their sin and places their faith in Jesus for salvation they have an irrevocable one-way ticket to Heaven but once we are there, we will still give an account for how we lived our lives for the Lord. We will not be judged for our salvation but for our stewardship. Our good works do not earn our salvation, but our good works are an expression of our salvation. It is foolish to know Christ but not to serve Him with your life.


James 2:20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
2. The Wickedness of Doing Nothing

Matthew 25:26 But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed.’


Wickedness is such a strong word of denunciation that that it is only used 16 times in all the New Testament. Jesus used the word 8 times, Paul used the word 4 times, John used the word 3 times, and the Gallio the Roman ruler used it 1 time. The reason this word is used so sparingly, is because it is such a potent and penetrating word of denouncement.


So, what was it about the man who did nothing with his God given “Talent” that prompted the Lord to call him wicked? The man was not a thief, for the money had been give to him. The man was not a prodigal, he did not use the money on drugs, alcohol and wild living as the man did in Luke chapter 15. The man was not a liar, he did not fabricate an alibi or shift blame on circumstance or other people. No, he simply decided to bury the money given to him in the ground and left it there… he did nothing at all with it. The man is labeled as a wicked man simply because he did nothing! He just stood there and did nothing of significance…


Idleness and laziness are not valuable virtues. In the evaluation of God, it is wicked to do nothing with what He has given to us for His glory and for the good of others.  Jesus highlighted this truth during his parable about the Good Samaritan in Luke chapter 10. He said the religious leaders that passed by the wounded man were in sin but the man who stopped to render care was the example we are to emulate.


James 4:17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.

3. The Costliness of Doing Nothing


Matthew 25:28 So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.


This seems countercultural…  Jesus often demonstrated and taught principles that seem counter intuitive to our humanistic mentality. The governmental welfare states says, “take from him that has and give to him that has not” but here Jesus says “take from him that has not and give to him that has”.


Many regard this as one of the most difficult verses in the Bible, but the meaning is obvious. It is one of the most basic laws of life. Either you use what you have, or you lose what you have. This law applies to every area of living. You can take your right arm, strap it to your side and refuse to use it for an extended period; then when you release the arm you will find that its usage has been impaired. If the muscles of your physical body are allowed to remain dormant, they will atrophy, they will wither and become useless.


The same principle applies in human relationships. If you want a relationship to die you don’t have to actively destroy it, you just stop tending to it. If you never talk, write, visit, or spend time with someone, the friendship cannot be maintained for very long. This is true in marital relationships, parenting relationships, business partnerships, with teammates, coworkers, and friends.


If a farmer wants to destroy his crop, it is not necessary for him to plow it up and plant weeds in the field. All the farmer needs to do is sit back in his rocking chair and let the days pass. Just doing nothing will result in a garden that is overtaken by weeds and will not produce what it should produce.


This same principle certainly applies in the realm of spirituality. If you want to hinder your spiritual growth, hurt your church, and do detriment to the work of the Lord, here is a suggestion that will produce a guaranteed outcome. Just get so busy with the things of the world that you don’t have time for the things of God. Only attend church for worship occasionally. Never get involved in a Mission Group and certainly don’t serve on a mission team. On the rare and random occasions, you decide to do God a favor by showing up, just occupy a seat. Don’t put forth any personal effort, don’t practice your holy habits, don’t read the Bible or pray, don’t worry about sharing your faith, don’t give of your time, talent, or treasure. Don’t get involved and don’t care. Just do nothing…. I have heard it presented this way before… if everybody in your church was just like you what kind of church would it be?


1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.


One of the interesting stories coming out of World War 2 is about the British Prime Minster, Winston Churchill. It was during the days of the German blitz. Bombers from across the channel were pounding the Island of England night and day. The wheels of the British war factories were turning 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The industry of England was not accustomed to this intense pace, and they found themselves running short of fuel. So, Winston Churchill gathered the coal miners of England and assembled them in one of the great halls in London. Then he stood before them and put forth an appeal with an imaginary victory parade, which he said would one day take place in the streets of London. He said that in the parade there would come marching a blind man led by a buddy and someone from the crowd would ask, “Soldier, where were you during the bleakest, darkest hour of England’s history?” The soldier could answer back with pride, “I was at Dunkirk where hundreds died for liberty.” Also, in the parade there would come marching a soldier with no arms, and someone would ask, “Mister, where were you during the bleakest, darkest hour of England’s history?” The soldier could answer back with pride, “I was on the front line in France giving my best for my country.” The he said that at the back of the parade there would come marching a man with a light on his hat, black smudges on his face, and a pick in his hand, and someone half jeeringly from the crowd would ask, “Mister, where were you during the bleakest, darkest hour of England’s history?” And Winston Churchill said, “That man can answer back with pride, ‘I was in the pit with my face to the wall.’” Then he sent the coal miners home, and England had her needed fuel. If an earthly ruler can rally his citizens to produce like that, how much more eagerly should we respond to the call of God?


Don’t just stand there, Do Something!!!


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